The SUV carrying four members of the University of Georgia football program, two of whom were killed, exceeded the 40 mph speed limit before hitting a curb and veering off the roadway, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department accident report said Tuesday released.
University of Georgia football player Devin Willock and associate Chandler LeCroy both died in the crash.
The report states that the Ford Expedition driven by LeCroy “failed to negotiate a left turn, causing the vehicle to hit a curb with its passenger tire and go off the road,” and then a “(Georgia) power pole and another Power pole hit them in half.”
After impacting the two bars, “the vehicle impacted a tree with its rear passenger side, causing it to rotate clockwise where it struck another tree with the driver’s side,” the report continued.
According to the accident report, Willock, who was sitting behind LeCroy on the driver’s side, was thrown from the vehicle when it landed against the corner of an apartment building. Willock, 20, died at the scene and LeCroy, 24, was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Victoria Bowles, the 26-year-old who was sitting in the back seat on the passenger side of the vehicle, sustained multiple injuries in the crash. She was transported to the hospital after the accident. The nature of the injuries is redacted in the report released on Tuesday, which said she was not wearing a seat belt.
The passenger, identified as 21-year-old Warren McClendon, sustained a head laceration during the crash, the report said. McClendon’s father told the Athens Banner-Herald that his son needed stitches but was “fine”.
The report lists the “First Noxious Event” of the accident as hitting the curb and the “Most Noxious Event” as hitting a tree. It does not say how fast the vehicle was going.
According to the report, no alcohol and drug tests were carried out on the driver at the scene of the accident. The driver’s operational state was listed as “Unknown”. CNN reached out to the Athens-Clarke County coroner for the toxicology results of LeCroy’s autopsy.
The accident happened early Sunday, just hours after the team celebrated its last national championship win.
Willock, a redshirt sophomore from New Milford, NJ, joined the team as a freshman in 2020 and played on the offensive line in all 15 of the team’s games last season. LeCroy was a football recruiting analyst for the team, according to LinkedIn.
McClendon is an offensive lineman who started this season with the right tackle for Georgia and declared for the NFL draft early Saturday.
Bowles is also a member of the Georgia Football Staff.
The crash came hours after Sanford Stadium and the surrounding streets were packed with adoring fans who had come to celebrate the Bulldogs’ second straight national championship. But by the next morning they had joined the team to mourn the sudden loss of Willock and LeCroy.
Willock’s aunt and uncles, Cicely and Norman Stout, said their nephew was well liked and a good student.
“He was doing very well. He was loved by all his peers, all the teachers and all the coaches,” said Cicely Stout. “Devin always smiles no matter what. Devin has a smile on his face and did very well in school. He was doing very well. He was a good, very good student, a very good person.”
It is an unfortunately familiar tragedy for the family. Willock’s older brother, Jonathan Wheatley, died in 2009 at the age of 20 from injuries sustained in a similar car accident, Cicely Stout said.
“He left way too soon for us,” said Willock’s uncle.
The University of Georgia Athletics shared links on their social media for people who want to support the families.
“We were overwhelmed and touched by the love and support for the Willock and LeCroy families,” Officials tweeted. “Many people have reached out and asked how they can help.
Donate to the Willock family:
Donate to the LeCroy family:
Police said the investigation into the cause of the accident is ongoing. Investigators have asked anyone with information to contact authorities.
The accident happened just behind a curved section of Barnett Shoals Road. There is a sidewalk but no barrier on the outer edge of the street.
Photos of the crash site, taken by nearby residents, show a wooden utility pole broken in half and the SUV’s frame crumpled against an apartment building in Shoals Creek, about two miles from the Georgia campus.
“This car was dented like a tin can,” Cecily Pangburn, a resident of the apartment complex, told CNN. She described hearing a loud bang as the crash happened, followed by a power outage.
Another resident, Jonathan D’Souza, said he was the first person to react at the scene of the accident. He told CNN he was watching TV when he felt the ground shake and heard what sounded like gunshots outside his apartment.
When D’Souza went outside to see what had happened, he said it was pitch black because the power was out. It wasn’t until he saw sparks flying from hanging power lines in the middle of the street that he was able to see a mangled SUV smashed into his neighbor’s home, he said.
D’Souza said he ran to the SUV and saw Willock lying face down next to the vehicle. D’Souza said he began yelling at an unresponsive Willock and asking if he was okay.
“It was an extremely helpless feeling because you wish you could save him, but you know he’s already gone,” D’Souza said.